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Kings coach fined $10okay for referee jibe

Sydney Kings coach Chase Buford has been fined $10,000 and handed a suspended one-match ban for insinuating a referee held a bias against his team.

Buford raised eyebrows when he said he hoped award-winning referee Chris Reid wouldn’t be officiating Sydney’s games in their upcoming best-of-three semi-final series against Illawarra, starting Friday.

The first-year NBL coach apologised for those comments on Wednesday, telling AAP: “What I said was totally out of line, just an immature and emotional reaction to a play.

“I’ve got to stop getting involved in personal battles with the officials.”

The NBL found Buford had committed multiple code-of-conduct breaches both during and after last week’s match against the Illawarra Hawks.

Buford was slapped with a $10,000 fine, but his one-match ban has been suspended until the end of the 2022/23 season.

It means Buford will escape suspension if he can stay out of trouble until the end of next season.

Sydney Kings swingman Xavier Cooks was fined $2,000 for also breaching the NBL’s code of conduct during the fiery match against the Hawks.

The best-of-three semi-final series between Illawarra and Sydney begins on Friday night, with game one at the WIN Entertainment Centre.

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